Figuring out content modeling.

I’ve spent my day neck-deep in content modeling articles. In all of my reading and research over the past 14 months, I had only occasionally come across the term, and in those instances, no basic explanation was given—and frankly, it just seemed a vague, elusive term, one I filed away as “I’ll look this up when it’s important.” Apparently, today it became important. (Also, I hate not knowing things. I mean, you don’t get a uselessly large vocabulary by ignoring new words when you see them.)

So today’s content modeling crash-course left me with the following impressions:

  • It’s super important
  • It’s a working document, not a deliverable
  • It’s totally a deliverable
  • It’s a bunch of boxes and arrows
  • It’s an Excel spreadsheet
  • It’s a combination of boxes and arrows filled with spreadsheets
  • It details out the metadata
  • It’s too big-picture for technical details like metadata
  • It happens in the planning stage
  • It happens in the design stage
  • It happens in the creation stage
  • It happens in all the stages
  • It’s about IA and wireframing
  • It’s really more about workflow and CMS

Clearly, we are encountering some gray area. Which is no surprise. Content modeling strikes me as a process that’s integral, but very fluid to account for different teams, different scopes, different needs. Still, I love the idea of documentation that brings together structure, taxonomies, content types, and metadata. The trick is going to be figuring out how I can apply yet-another-idea-in-theory to the practical dilemma of making the case for broader content strategy applications.


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